How to Make Sure Your Business has a Secure Website and is Safe from Hacking
Data breaches are terrifying, and they happen all the time. When you’re running your own small business, you rely heavily on your web presence to help you connect with your customers. If you put a lot of emphasis on eCommerce, the Internet is the backbone of what you do. So making sure your business has a secure website is crucial to the safety and success of your business. You can’t afford to skimp on your website’s security – your livelihood depends on it. There are several things you can do, even with a modest budget, to make your website more secure.
Your employees need to understand your security protocol if they’re going to interact with your website. Do they update your blog? Do they change graphics and answer support emails? Teach your employees to be hyper vigilant about what attachments they open and the way they log in. If your employees accidentally install malware and then log into your website, they’re compromising your website’s security. Training and knowledge aren’t just for the IT staff – all of your employees need to work together to recognize vulnerabilities and prevent costly accidents.
Use a VPN or Proxy Service
VPNs are the most secure way to connect to the Internet. They put your activity in a special tunnel that’s invisible to outsiders. When you’re transmitting sensitive information, such as financial or personal data relating to your business or its customers, this security tunnel is exactly what you need. Finding the right proxy will require a little bit of research, but you’re getting something invaluable. When malicious entities can’t see what you’re sending and where you’re sending it, your risk for a web attack significantly drops.
Develop a Strict Security Policy
How often do passwords get changed around your office? Where are your employees allowed to log in and what devices are they allowed to use? You can’t secure an employee’s private device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Discourage them from using these devices for work matters unless they’re connected through a secure Cloud. Have strict password standards and mandate that passwords be changed every few weeks to prevent outsiders from gaining unauthorized access to your website.
You can control the security measures you use when creating your website, but you can’t necessarily control the way your users interact with your website. Consider disabling things like auto-fill on forms. This will prevent customers from mistakenly saving their private information on a shared computer. Update all of your back end security as often as possible, and make sure every vulnerable area of your site is “https” (where the S stands for secure) rather than plain old “http”.
Install Additional Security
If you aren’t already using one, it’s time to get a web application firewall. This is a layer of protection that stands in front of your server. Anything coming through needs to pass the firewall. This keeps automated bot attacks as well as manual attacks at bay by turning away suspicious traffic. For best results, back up your web application firewall with other security applications. If your business website runs through WordPress, it isn’t difficult to add layers of protection simply by installing the right plugins.
It’s never too early or too late to hire an IT specialist if you don’t already have a team working on your behalf. These people will be able to spot vulnerabilities faster than you can, while preparing you to take on emerging threats before they become widespread problems.
Meet the Author: Amelia Dermott